Posted in Blogging, Music, Reviews

Simple Plan “No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls” 15th Anniversary Tour: Live @ Kentish Town Forum, London


Canadian punk rockers Simple Plan still going strong after 15 years!

This year marked the 15th anniversary of Simple Plan’s debut album “No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls” and the band embarked on a global tour dedicated to celebrating their first record. What was awesome about this tour is that they played that whole first record from start to finish and it was just an amazing event to be a part of as a fan.

For those who are unfamiliar to Simple Plan, they are probably one of the more experienced bands on the music scene today. Punk Rock music is a genre of rock that doesn’t seem to be surviving much these days, but Simple Plan are a testament to this genre of music as they are still going 15 years later and as strong as ever. The Canadian rockers how to put on an old-school rock show and never fail to deliver when they perform live. Being in that audience was just an incredible feeling as every single person was so excited and stoked to be there. Pierre Bouvier is the definition of what it means to be a frontman and man does he know how to rock that stage, leading the band through each song. The two axemen Jeff and Sebastian know how to shred the shit out of their guitars and sound even more brilliant live than they do on the records. Then we have Chuck, the drummer of Simple Plan, who is without a doubt the hardest hitting stick man in the industry and is one crazy dude. I mean the guy was crowd surfing and stage diving and was just an awesome spectacle to witness! The band bring so much to their live show such as huge beach balls when Summer Paradise was played and even launching t-shirts into the crowd! Then we have the music itself, it just felt like one epic song after another busting some truly iconic punk anthems that make for a memorable evening!

As I mentioned earlier on, the set at this show was mostly made up of all 14 tracks from their debut album No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls played in its entirety from start to finish to celebrate the 15th anniversary since the release of this record. I was 12 when that album first came out in 2002….holy shit!! I was 12…..feel like I’ve gone back in time like The Flash! Anyway let’s get back to the point….when this album first came out it was a much simplar time when social network didn’t exist and if you wanted to find out about a band you’d flip on a music channel or buy a rock magazine. The album itself has stood the test of time as it sounds just as fresh and inviting as it did back in 2002. The thing that I noticed in the crowd was that the album and band themselves has attracted audiences of all ages as there was quite a diverse crowd at this show. The album felt like it was just released today as the band performed it with such excitement, passion and enthusiasm making the atmosphere in the Kentish Town Forum truly electric on this night.

Simple Plan walk on stage just after 9:15pm and open with the first track I’d Do Anything, just hearing that opening riff gets the crowd pumped and everyone starts singing along at the top of their lungs bouncing up and down. Then the Canadian rockers go straight into the next track on the album The Worst Day Ever, which is just as punk rock as it was back in 2002! Highlights of the set include songs like I’m Just A Kid which is a teen angst song with over 3000 people singing the chorus back was awesome to witness and be a part of. Then half way through the play of the album Simple Plan go into one of their biggest anthems Addicted, which sounds like a teenage punk explosion that has elements of Blink 182 and Good Charlotte contained within the chorus with the classic Simple Plan style.

After the band finishes the last song off the first LP, they come back on for the encore with the explosive Shut Up! taken from their 2004 album Still Not Getting Any. It was such a brilliant choice to get the second half of the set started and sounds just as punky and rebellious as ever. They combine hits from all their albums from the second half of the gig with songs like Jet Lag and Summer Paradise (from 2011’s Get Your Heart On!) which have the most perfect choruses for fans to sing along with and sound even better live than on the record. My personal favourite of the night was the song Boom! taken from 2016’s Taking One For The Team which sounds so epic live and the live flair on it was just a stand out song for me on this night. The final song of the night was Welcome To My life which was a song that every 16 year old used to play on repeat back in the day, dealing with the issues of feeling left out every fan relates to the word’s in that song all these years later. We also are treated to hits like Your Love Is A Lie which is a favourite track of mine as the chorus sums up something we’ve all experienced at some point in our life, so the chorus is so powerful when performed live. Then we have the song Perfect which Pierre starts off on stage on his own performing the song acoustically with every fan in the room shining torches towards the stage, really creating an indescribable atmosphere. As soon as the chorus kicks in you just think shit this is what life is all about, 3000 fans singing that chorus back it easily one of the best moments of the night! When you realise all the hits the band has at their disposal all you can think is that Simple Plan still have it and are still going strong 15 years later!

The reason Simple Plan are my favourite punk rock band is that they go way beyond just being the awesome rockers we see on stage this night. The amount of charity work they do outside of music with the Simple Plan Foundation is truly inspiring and goes to show they are more than just musicians, but these are five guys that want to help people in whatever way possible. Besides the work they do off stage, what I thought was really awesome as the band started performing Boom! but there was a fan that fainted in the crowd and the band instantly stopped the song. I thought this was really great as Pierre and the band were just checking to make sure the fan was okay, checking to see if they needed medical attention and the staff at the venue were on point and really great in this situation. Pierre apologised for the delay but all the fans in the crowd were understanding as it’s never nice seeing a fellow music goer suffer like that, so I thought they were top guys for making sure the person was okay before continuing with the set. During the night I did notice that the fifth member of Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers was missing which sucked as he adds a lot to the live performance. Pierre addresses the absence of their band member as turns out that David has missed out on the tour as he is battling a serious case of depression, which is never easy to go through but it foes to show the guys care about each other and their is no I in team and this demonstrates it tonight. I just think that these kind of things showed that Simple Plan are an act of pure class and just adds to the amazing rock show that amongst being performers, they are genuine and down to earth human beings. Brave lads!

This truly was an incredible night for Punk Rock and will go down as one of the most iconic tours in rock, especially for me personally. I knew that Simple Plan’s 15th anniversary tour was going to be something special but holy shit this was one of the best concerts I have ever been to and definitely will go down in my top 10 for sure! It was one of those gigs that you can’t stop thinking about and will be forever embedded in my memories for a long time. It was the ultimate show for Simple Plan and doing this anniversary tour is one of the best things they’ve done as a band and is my personal favourite tour I’ve attended of theirs. They are doing this tour around the world so wherever you are in the world, if you can attend the 15th anniversary tour of No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls then you should definitely grab a ticket!

It is the ultimate night of Punk Rock!


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